Nothing says Halloween like a brooding skull. Here are instructions for making a great skull pendant out of ceramic or polymer clay. And if you don’t add anything fancy, it makes an awesome necklace for a guy.
Note: I was originally planning to make one instructable for both skull and pumpkin clay pendants, but I also wanted to include instructions for polymer and ceramic clay. This was getting way too complicated, so I decided to separate them. Here is the ceramic and polymer clay instructable for a cool stamped skull pendant. Please see my other instructables to make a beautiful pumpkin pendant.
Step 1: What You Need:
For Porcelain Pendants:
High Temperature Wire (16 – 20 guage)
Black Glaze (Red is optional)
For Polymer Clay:
Black Acrylic Paint (Red is optional)
Wire (16 – 20 guage)
In addition, for either type of clay:
Rubber Skull Stamps
¼ inch wooden slats
Round Shape Clay Cutters (you can also use jars, pill bottles, a knife etc.)
Steel Jump Rings
Step 2: Stamp the Clay
On a surface the clay won’t stick to (I like to use canvas), set your wooden slats parallel to each other about 3-6 inches apart. Then roll out a ball of clay between the wooden slats with the rolling pin. This will give you a nice clay slab 1/4 inch thick.
Make impressions in the slab with your rubber stamps. Leave plenty of room between the stampings so you can cut around them. If the stamps stick, you can dust them lightly with baby powder.
Cut out a pendant
After you stamp, use your clay shape cutters or a knife to cut around the stamped clay and into circles or skull shapes.
Add a Wire
Put wires in the clay to attach a jump ring to later. For polymer clay any 16 -20 gauge should be fine. For ceramic clays use wire rated for high temperatures. Either way, cut a piece of wire about ¾”. Bend it over a round object like a thin pen – round nose pliers are ideal. Push the ends into the top edge of your clay pendant. See the finished pictures for placement if you’re not sure. (I wanted my skulls to hang askew, so I put the wires off center.)
Bake or Fire Clay
Oven bake or kiln fire according to directions for the type of clay you’re using
Step 3: Glaze or Paint
When the clay is hardened and cooled, it's time to add paint. If you are glazing, paint all your pieces at once with a solid layer of black glaze. Use the number of coats directed on the glaze bottle. When all the glaze is dry, take a damp sponge and start wiping away the top layer of color. Stop when you like the effect. You will probably need to rinse the black off your sponge pretty often to get some white areas. Leave as much glaze as you like. Let dry. If you’re using under glaze, add a coat of clear before firing. Fire according to directions.
If you're using polymer clay, paint with acrylic. Paint only one pendant at a time. Paint the entire piece black, and wipe off the topmost surface before it dries. Use water if you need to. Leave as much color behind as you like. When the acrylic is completely dry you can add a clear gloss. Several coats of Future floor polish works great!
With either technique, you can add more color or take more off. You can always wash your pendant clean or even sand off unwanted paint. You can also accent with red.
Step 4: Finish Skull
Add a Jump Ring
Add a jump ring through the wire loop. Make sure it’s large enough for the cord or chain you plan to use.